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What are your Market Basket surprises?

three of us Oct 28, 2010 09:21 AM

I shop at the MB in North Billerica which is an old-time MB complete with dingy lighting, sawdust floors, and fairly straightforward stock that would appeal to a town that has a lot of traditional Yankee working-class citizens.

Still, sometimes I see something that just surprises me that it would be in this store.

Today, there was the most beautiful eel in the seafood case. It was artfully curved around bags of mussels. I stood there and admired not just the eel but how it was presented.

In the dairy case, pre-made organic guacomole for $1.50 had me scrutinizing those little price tags on the shelf because I felt sure this must be a mistake.

Previous discoveries include pickled lambs tongues which look just like one would imagine,

Have you ever seen anything in a MB that seemed out-of-place and had you wondering how it got there?

  1. c
    cutipie721 Oct 31, 2010 04:35 PM

    Maine Jonah crab meat for $5.99/5oz, though they don't have them all the time.

    1. n
      nlg Oct 31, 2010 03:21 PM

      This week at the Danvers MB: end pieces from the deli - so inexpensive. cheese for making into quiche, some nice salami. Often, there are pieces of prosciutto and we've also bought that Spanish type of ham (can't remember the name...). Also, in the meal aisle - goat meat at around $3.00 a pound. Also, bought four pounds of ground lamb for less than a dollar. Must have been a pricing mistake, but the best by date was for the preceding day. Made a huge amount of lamb meatballs and shepherd's pie. I felt like I had won the lottery!

      1. SmokeDawg Oct 31, 2010 02:30 PM

        How about Pellegrino at 99 cents a bottle - I noticed it was "on sale" last week at Shaws for $2.49.

        They also carry an Italian-style chicken sausage, DeLuigi, which as good as pork.

        1. Infomaniac Oct 31, 2010 06:53 AM

          I noticed they are now selling Rao's Sauce for $6.99 a jar. I think I was more suprised at the price than the product.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Infomaniac
            mjg0725 Oct 31, 2010 05:29 PM

            First week I saw it they introduced it at $4.99, 50% cheaper than Whole Foods

          2. b
            baldbert Oct 31, 2010 06:28 AM

            The biggest surprise at MB is be able to shop without being crushed between two old women's shopping carts...

            1. Gio Oct 31, 2010 06:10 AM

              Alas and alack...yesterday at the Reading MB there was no:
              Vlados imported-style prosciutto
              Queso fresco (the fellow we asked didn't even know what it is... harumph!)

              Didn't look for split sheep's heads, beef hearts, and whole cow tongues, however, due to the eeewww factor in my brain.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Gio
                mcel215 Oct 31, 2010 10:01 AM

                The people at the Woburn store know what Queso fresco is and where it is, but
                trying to find the mascarpone was another story, lol!

                I think the stores are geared to more ethnic groups living near each vacinity.

                1. re: mcel215
                  Gio Oct 31, 2010 06:37 PM

                  Yes, I guess you're right about location/ethnicity vis a vis stocking the stores. It's frustrating though. I'm so surprised to read that goat meat was available at the Danvers store...Will definitely have to check that out.

              2. greygarious Oct 30, 2010 02:09 PM

                I recently tried MB whole wheat pasta, somewhat skeptically, but it's better (and cheaper) than the national brands. Not exactly exotic, however. I have noticed some inventory changes that are aimed at somewhat more diversity than they used to offer. I am in that MB on occasion, but more often in Wilm or Tewks. There are differences in inventory from one MB to another, even same-size stores in the same town. The one on DWH near the Pheasant Lane Mall seems to have a larger fresh seafood section than typical, including fish heads.

                1. ScubaSteve Oct 30, 2010 10:55 AM

                  split sheep's heads, beef hearts, and whole cow tongues have been a few of my pleasant surprises.

                  1. StriperGuy Oct 30, 2010 12:16 AM

                    Vlados imported style prosciutto in the deli. $6.99 a pound. Fabulous stuff. As good as the real deal.

                    Really superb Hodgson's Mill and Bob's Red Mill baking supplies.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: StriperGuy
                      itaunas Oct 30, 2010 05:17 AM

                      The Vlados is fairly new and I think they introduced it initially in Reading and Chelsea, since they may still be gauging response its worth giving some feedback that you like it to a manager and it may not be available in all stores.

                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        GilbyEast Oct 30, 2010 06:45 AM

                        The Vlados is the best domestic I've had, and can stand proudly next to the standard imported. While a domestic product, I love that it takes two states to make it. The pigs are from Iowa, but the hams are hung in Rhode Island. I love that!

                        1. re: GilbyEast
                          Gio Oct 30, 2010 06:52 AM

                          Makes it *almost* local, doesn't it? Hoping to find it at the Reading MB today. We usually buy prosciutto at Pace in Saugus.

                          1. re: GilbyEast
                            StriperGuy Oct 30, 2010 08:33 AM

                            Cool, did not know it was semi-local! I see a trip to RI ahead of me just to check out the operation.

                            1. re: GilbyEast
                              StriperGuy Oct 30, 2010 10:23 AM

                              Cool, just found this article in the Providence Journal. It is the Daniele folks, but the Vlado is their new, longer cure prosciutto:


                          2. opinionatedchef Oct 29, 2010 11:07 PM

                            The Somerville MB has fresh whole goose which we get yearly in nov. or dec.

                            1. s
                              suzysue2 Oct 29, 2010 09:56 PM

                              Favorite deals courtesy of my BF who is a MB fanatic:

                              Organic milk/half and half significantly cheaper

                              Lobsters are often $4.99

                              MB brand organic chicken stock $1.50

                              Conventionally farmed apples are easily 50% cheaper than anywhere else

                              Exotic produce at the Somerville location has a quick turnover and is very fresh

                              Barilla pasta is consistently cheaper

                              However, many MB house brand foods contain high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil--read labels!

                              My favorite is my favorite cleaning product Bon Ami is $.89

                              I also love the wide selection of queso fresco

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